Volunteerism in a post- COVID Society: Lessons for Church and Society
Central to William Temple’s thinking around a post-war social order back in 1942 was the role of religion (i.e., the Church) and the role of the (Christian) believer in the reconstruction of a social order in which the principles of Love and Justice are implicit, but nevertheless regulative (Temple, 78). In Temple’s Christian social ethics, both policy and individual contributions to the social order need to be aligned to deep values, beliefs and principles in order to create an economic and social polity strong enough to withstand both the pressures of ideological capitalism and ideological totalitarianism. In this article, we take two of Temple’s core policy constructs – responsible citizenship and intermediate groupings – to explore the extent to which they offer insights into our current post-pandemic context. The theme of volunteerism is important to consider in the light of the Beveridge report of 1942 since Beveridge himself addresses the theme in his Third report on Voluntary Action published in 1948, as a response to fears that the welfare state in some way might supercede or suppress the initiative of individual citizens to engage in social protection both for themselves, and their fellow citizens. Temple in many ways anticipates and addresses this concern in these two categories which we now consider in greater depth.